Corn rallying on drought concerns
Market closed +0.90%. The market benefited from the May durable goods numbers not being as bad as the previous 2 months (April and March were both big 1.7% misses vs. the estimates), strong pending home sales data, and a report from the German Financial Times (Link) that the ECB’s chief economist hinted at a rate cut at next week’s meeting. Note tomorrow at 10AM the Supreme Court will release its decision on Obama-care and the EU summit is also the next 2 days.
Google started their developers conference today and launched two new hardware products 1) Google Nexus 7 tablet 2) Google Nexus Q media streamer.
First on the Google Nexus Q. It’s going to be total flop like the Logitech Google TV. No-one wants to over-pay on a hardware media streamer device at $299 when you can get better functionality today with a $49 Roku or $99 Apple TV box. It simply doesn’t make any sense, even if it is Made in the USA.
However I believe Google has hit a home-run with the $199 Google Nexus 7 tablet. Here is what you get in comparison to the $199 Kindle Fire:
1. you get a front-facing camera vs. no camera on the Fire
2. higher resolution display 1280X800
3. lighter weight
4. double the memory 1 gigabyte of RAM which helps browsing lag less and videos stream better
5. Quad-core Tegra 3 processor vs. Fire’s dual-core. 12 core graphics processor which runs rings around the Fire. The OS runs at 60 frames-per-second, which mean butter smooth scrolling, swipes, and less lag
6. A fully functional next-generation operating system, Android version 4.1 OS vs. Fire’s forked customized version 2.2, which means better tablet application support vs. scaled up smart-phone apps
7. off-line speech recognition, music recognition, Google Maps with compass gyroscope support (you can look into a restaurant with 360 degree pictures)
8. Console-quality Tegra 3 graphics supported games vs. casual smartphone games graphics quality
9. Google Currents (Flipboard clone) with automatic language translation feature
The list goes on and on. The hardware spec list and software integration is a gadget nerd’s dream at a $199 price-point. Until very recently you had to pay $499 for a IPS display 10” tablet with Android 4.0 OS and a Tegra 3 processor. Google is offering that type of horsepower at cost (no profit margin Google executives said) for only $199 in a 7” form-factor.
Google is also throwing in a $25 Google Play store credit for apps, movies, games, and books. Every Nexus 7 owner will also get a free movie (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), a free book (Bourne Dominion), and a bunch of free magazines (Popular Science etc.) to build your digital library.
$199 7-inch tablet with great high resolution IPS display with killer Tegra 3 12-core graphics power is also a death knell to hand-held gaming consoles like the Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. It’s one thing to compete with Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja casual tablet game graphics, it’s another thing to compete with Tegra 3 supported console-quality graphics games at this low price-point.
If you’re in the market for a 7-inch tablet, get the Google Nexus 7. It’s leaps and beyond anything on the market right now especially at the price at least until the Apple iPad Mini comes in October.
What about the Kindle Fire 2 in July or August? Given how badly they flubbed Kindle Fire 1 hardware, I’m not optimistic. First I find it highly likely Amazon will continue using a forked older generation operating system, which means more lag (older APIs) and same less functional carousel dumbed down user interface.
It definitely won’t be running Android 4.1 OS which is only on the Nexus 7 right now. This means no Google software integration and features that come with Android 4.1. Why pay the same price for a less functional, slower less featured old generation OS, less apps, and a more laggy tablet?
Read this (Link) on the new features and improvements of the Android 4.1 OS.
I do expect the old Kindle Fire 1’s price will be cut to $149, but even then the Nexus 7 is such a better buy with the $25 credit and better hardware/software.
And the recently released “no Tegra 3” Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch tablet at $249 also became obsolete today.
Go and see for yourself with these links: PressEventDemoVideo Verge TechReport StoreListingwithSpecs
-May durable goods 1.1% vs. 0.4% estimate, prior 0.2% revised to –0.2%. Ex-transportation 0.4% vs. 0.8% estimate, prior –0.6%
-Pending home sales 5.9% vs. 1.2% estimate, –5.5% prior
-Economists expect the ECB to cut rates next Thursday Link
-Wall Street initiates ratings on Facebook Link
-Fortune: Amazon shifts on state taxes. Texas July 1. California September 15. Pennsylvania September Link